Maurizio Sarri’s men left it late against AFC Bournemouth as they scored two goals in the second half to seal a victory against AFC Bournemouth.
Goals from Pedro and Eden Hazard worked in Chelsea’s favour, and here I look at three reasons why they emerged victorious for the fourth consecutive time this season.
#1 Death by possession
Maurizio Sarri has made Chelsea adapt to his ideology and beliefs quite well, and the team has responded well too.
With new midfield recruitments and talented forwards, Chelsea often look to dominate the opposition by maintaining, recycling and looking for incision through possession of the ball.
They applied a high/mid-press when required, and always looked to circulate the ball in and around the box, whilst the wingers made diagonal runs and Mateo Kovacic ran in from the left channel.
Overall, the team had a definite attacking pattern that they followed, but the focal point of the entire gameplay was forcing the opposition into losing the ball and then preserving the possession of the ball, which they did quite well.
#2 Alonso and Hazard
Chelsea manage their entire playing pattern considerably well, but it wouldn’t be incorrect to state that their left flank helps them dismantle the opposition completely.
Marcos Alonso’s inroads into the opposition box, coupled with his improvement in defensive maturity create a driving force from Chelsea’s half. The Spaniard teed up well with Eden Hazard, who endured a brilliant game as he roamed around the attacking line, often dropping a shoulder and gliding past defenders with utmost ease.
Hazard delivered five key passes and notched a goal, which surely adds much more value to his entire performance.
Moreover, Mateo Kovacic’s presence between Alonso and Hazard proved to be excellent too, as the Croat played between the lines, exchanging passes with his teammates whilst also making some smart runs from the inside channel to free himself inside the box.
The trio of Alonso, Kovacic and Hazard are technically superior to many of their peers, and Chelsea might continue to get a stronger grip over proceedings due to the three of them in the coming matches too.
Despite controlling the tempo of the game quite well, Chelsea were unable to find an opening as Eddie Howe’s team put men behind the ball and defended resolutely. Credit to Chelsea too, as they passed patiently, but the lack of efficiency in their gameplay was quite visible, as Alvaro Morata’s lack of involvement did not help either.
However, Sarri played his cards well and introduced Olivier Giroud and Pedro for Morata and Willian respectively. Pedro instantly added creativity and a driving zest on the field, as he regularly shifted to central positions in order to take a chance at goal. He teamed up well with Hazard and exchanged some quick passes in order to breach Bournemouth’s defensive line.
Moreover, he looked far more incisive than any other Chelsea player on the field, and eventually notched the goal in a remarkable fashion. His movement and the finish was exquisite, and his arrival on the field certainly turned out to be impactful.
Giroud delivered two key passes during his relatively shorter stay on the pitch too, and it would be fair to say that the substitutes turned the game around for Sarri’s men today.